Monday, April 4, 2011

Week Four - Baring Skin

Commando Steve said: “The Biggest Loser Club Challenge is all about stripping down, in more ways than one. We want you to burn fat and lose weight, but you’ve also got to drop the heavy emotional load you’ve been carrying and find inner confidence.

That’s what this week’s challenge is all about ... and I’ve got to warn you, Amy, it’s a toughie. I want you to do two sessions in the pool this week. That means a swimsuit and baring some skin, but I know you’ll dive into it. Your first session should include as many laps as you can, trying out a variety of strokes, and I want your second session to be a group aqua class.

* * * * *

OMG, it's totally ME!
(...... NOT)
OK.  SO, I'm tossing up what to wear in the pool tomorrow for my scheduled swim - can't decide between wearing this totally revealing, skimpy bikini OR the all-over-cover body sack (not to be confused with a body bag... though given how long it's been between swims, I wouldn't write off the necessity of that one just yet... hahaha).

Personally, I think the head-to-toe suit would be far more comfortable for me, however swimming may prove problematical...  but given my aversion to "showing skin", I'm willing to sacrifice my aquatic prowess to retain some self-respect!!!  ...see my dilemma here!!!

...that's more like it!!
[PS: Why is there a serious lack of full length aquatic bodysuits on the shelf these days?!!!]

But seriously...  

This weeks' challenge - despite my obvious body issues - is one I'm quite happy and willing to do!  Not because I'm sadistic and love to push myself beyond my comfort-limits (oh, who am I kidding.. yes I am?!)...  but more for the fact that it's been WAY too long between swims, and this'll force the issue and get me back into the water!  Can't let my Team down now can I?!   (JUST SWIM fishy SWIM!)

Let me tell you a little story... 

I used to LOVE to swim - I was quite good at it too when I was younger.  We had a pool in the backyard, and I wasn't phased by the water at all.  LOVED to dive in and regurgitate half that chlorine back out again later, and really, it's a pure JOY for kids to swim.  Full stop!

... then I grew up, and I got very (VERY) body conscious. As the weight started to creep on, so did the embarrassment of being seen doing things like this - least of all in minimal clothing!  I've spoken about it before, in the forums (etc) that I would wear as much "non-revealing" clothing as possible (including jumpers in the middle of summer with 40degree heat!)... all because I hated how I looked.

So it only took one 'incident' to wipe me clean of the love of swimming... and ofcourse, it had to be a school PE session that did it... naturally!   Off the class had ventured down to the town pool - and I HATED the prospect of having to do sports anyway (fat kid trying to do sport = humiliation), least of all strip down to swimmers for a pool session - but I'd get in trouble for not participating...

So this one particular day, I walk out of the changeroom in my swimmers, covered in a t-shirt and trying desperately to hide behind my towel.  My swimmers were really old, worn out around the legs, and the elastic had given, so they weren't exactly sitting the way they should have...  and un-lucky me, the shirt I'd brought wasn't long enough to cover it (a mistake I've learnt to regret!!!).  As one of the last to leave the changeroom (as you do - it's like walking the "green mile"), the whole class of boys was sitting out there - in a pack - and as soon as I walked past....  ohhh the laughter.  Yup, still echoes in my ears right now...  ugh!

Needless to say, I didn't swim for PE ever again, and as it turned out, I never hit the water for another 15 years thereafter because of it...   I gave up one of my most loved activities because I lived in a body that I was made to feel ashamed of. 

I missed out on swimming during holidays, excursions, outings... everything.  If there was water involved, you can guarantee I was NOT in it.  I've even ventured to the beach and NOT swum in the ocean.   I even missed out on the SUPER FUN adventure of a wet jumping castle that ended up in our backyard one year for my sister's birthday with an attached Slip'n'Slide...  OHHHH I can't believe I missed THAT!!  (regret!!!!!)

Yeah, you Olympic Swimmers have got nothin' on me... !!
Yup, 15 years later... wasn't until my first year with BLC (2008) when I'd had enough, that I ventured back to a pool. Regret is a killer, but the only one missing out on this one was ME!   Took ALL my courage to take that one step into the Aquatic Centre here in Bathurst - I barely fit into the swimmers I'd found, and had to wear them with shorts - and DETESTED how I looked in that getup.

First time I tried to walk through the gates, my knees were trembling, I was almost at hyperventilation-mode and I was about to burst into tears - my sister had to coax me through the gates, telling me it'd be ok...   The most painful part was 'disrobing' from the changerooms to the pool - but once I hit the water.... OH MY GOD.  I can't tell you guys how LIBERATING it felt to be able to do that...  and as it turned out, despite the constant self-conscious issues OUT of the pool, we ventured back to hit the water quite a few times thereafter.

.... until the latter part of Bathurst's Winter hit, I lost my nerve again, and I haven't been back in since!

That was two years ago now - and I'm what... 50kilos lighter (give or take) and I'm back to dreading being seen?!!  What is with that?!!!

SO, what better way to force myself back into that pool than copping a challenge I simply can't say no to!  (my stubbornness prevents it!!!).   When I ventured to the gym for the first time a few months ago, the fact they had an indoor pool was a BIG selling point for me - it's something I've been trying to coax myself into doing since - but I've been too chicken...

Given I'm now confident enough to hit the gym - AND with bare arms might I add - it's time to up the ante...

Throw me into the drink already!!   You don't get anywhere day-dreaming about these things... It's time for this little Nemo to get her swim on!

SO, tomorrow it is!   No idea what I'm wearing into the pool though - I don't own swimmers that fit (the last pair were a size 26 stretched to the absolute max!)...  but that won't stop me!  Will probably PASS on the bikini though (thanks, haha)....  and as long as I'm not naked, I really don't think they'll complain (hahahaha)...

NO EXCUSES!  I WILL hit that pool after my RPM class tomorrow, and I WILL do my laps!  It's time to get a bit chloriney...!   Further reports to follow....

* * * * *

Oh my gosh guys, now I KNOW you all know I'm a bit of a clown when it comes to photos, etc...   Well off I went in search of my goggles for the photo on here...  and opened up my very bottom drawer in the search to find them AND something to wear in the pool tomorrow.  The drawer where you stash things you don't really use, then forget you even have them there...  (also works at the back of the wardrobe, haha!)

WELL... let me tell you about my VERY overwhelming discovery just then!   Again, another FITTING discovery and far out Universe, what is it with you and these pivotal timings lately?!!!   Given we've just been discussing high school, I find two very significant items sitting in the bottom of the drawer.... one's I'd totally forgotten about, but given my current topic, curiosity dragged them out...

One is my Year 10 commemorative T-shirt, the other my Year 12 commemorative rugby jumper.    Both of them are brand new - when I bought them, I never fit into them. I've kept them with me ever since - though, I don't really know why...   They never fit, I missed out on wearing them 'at the time' like everyone else.  The Year 12 one, in particular, was the one that broke my heart....  That was what the entire class wore in our school photo and bulk of our final year - except me...

Trying on the T-shirt... and it fits!  Exciting, liberating, HAPPY!!!     Then I try on the rugby jumper...  and I'm totally overwhelmed with nostalgia.  Bawling my eyes out now....  I'd have given ANYTHING to wear this back in '96, to be part of the group and feel like I fit in...  
Only took 15 years... ?!    Ouch....

(You know what the biggest bonus to this is though - it's TOO FREAKING BIG!!!)  Small mercies...!

Must EVERYTHING be so emotional?!!!  Gah!!!!   ... !


  1. Oh, Amy... I'm sure you know that we've all been there with the pool thing. I was once lying by the side of the road on a balmy summer's evening at the caravan park where we were staying, in my bathers and shorts (because obviously couldn't do without the shorts) and had my stepbrother ride by and remark about my being "a beached whale". Which, by the way, his friend found SUPER funny. Strangely, my step brother grew up into this lovely person but whenever I think about that moment it still hurts.

    However, omg, the joy of fitting into your school gear! I never even bought one, I was so self conscious :-S Probably should have! So pleased for you!! xo You earned this moment.

  2. Great work Amy - it's so exciting to try things on and feel the looseness of them on - especially something as momentous as the year 12 jumper...

    You're so inspiring! Keep at it!

  3. Way to go Amy, can totally relate to the aversion to pool swimming and yet i was an absolute fish growing up.Always first in and last out of the water. Sad how our real self gets buried under fat aye. But we're commin out, look out world !!! Ive been doing aqua classes and really enjoying being back in the water. Even looked at some swimers lately. (shock horror) I havn't owned any in years.


  5. Thankya ladies!! The pool was AWESOME!!! :D

  6. Seriously I like the red all over suit. waaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa. But good on you for facing your demons. You are truly a hero.

  7. Way to go!!!
    My brother suggested to me the other day that because it was hot, I should just go in the pool in my underwear and t-shirt. I promptly told him the world is just not ready for that sight. Ha, ha.
    Will try this challenge this week as weather heating up again.
    SO.O.O.O happy to hear about your year 12 jumper. I share your joy and raise a glass (of water) to your success. Cheers honey.
    Enjoy the swimming.
    Love Cazz71

  8. Red suit was a tad claustrophobic, hahahaha!!! ;)

  9. I'm all teary seeing you in your too-big school jumper!

  10. Oh my goodness Amy - I was just looking at the stats on the sidebar - YO GO GIRL!!!! Wow - how cool is that. Nearly into double figure. I know just the thing to celebrate! So get the school jumper thing too. How cool.

  11. Oh gosh Amy, it's all coming together. You look wonderful in the school jumper - that old universe throws them at us doesn't it?

  12. Hi Amy, I've never commented before, I'm just a reader, but I just wanted to say that I understand where you are coming from, from the social point of view.

    My whole time, from yr7-yr12 are heartbreaking for me to look back on now. I was so worried about things that I look back on now were only in my head, but these things meant the person others were seeing was not at all me - I won't get into my own little sob story on your blog, but thispost of yours made me think of it, because...I was too embarrassed to wear my year 12 jumper, in 96, just like you! Not for sizing, but because I thought that people would think "why is she wearing it, she's not part of our group nobody even cares about her"
    I am myself now, I left Bathurst , got married, and am now happy.
    You are such an inspiration. I love reading your blog, sorry for this long comment. It sounds like you are really getting through to people and I'm so glad you decided to write about your experience - keep it up!
    If only we had known each other those years ago!